United States Army Green Beret veteran and former NFL player Nate Boyer, who served multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan during six years of military service before playing college football at the University of Texas, joined Mad Radio to discuss how he convinced Colin Kaepernick to take a knee rather than sit during the national anthem, what he believes Kaepernick needs to do to spread his message and possibly get back in the NFL. What veterans are saying about Kaepernick, the current strengths and flaws on the country, and much more.
On his first interaction with Colin Kaepernick in which he convinced Kaepernick to take a knee during the anthem rather than sit on the bench:
“We didn’t agree on the issue necessarily. You know, I ultimately agreed to defend a guy I didn’t agree with because those are the rights I fought for. It was a couple hour, it was on game day, they were about to play the Chargers in San Diego, last preseason game, it was military appreciation night, 9/11, there was a lot going on. And I could tell (Kaepernick) was a little bit nervous. You know, this thing blew up a lot bigger than he thought it would. I was doing what I could to help him understand how many people it was hurting. Friends of mine in the military, gold star wives, there were a lot of people that were reaching out to me about the situation, they wanted their voice heard with Colin so I just shared those stories and why the flag and anthem means something very different to me and to them and to our community and through our conversation is how we came to that middle ground of him taking a knee because it was more respectful towards the military and towards people who hold that flag in a different type of regard. Even though the protests had nothing to do with the military, let him understand that he doesn’t get to choose how people perceive it. Our perceptions are our reality and he doesn’t get to choose how any single person takes that so if he could do anything in his power to be more respectful, bring light to the situation, be sensitive because if he’s looking for people to listen to him and he wants his voice to be heard he has got to be willing to listen to others.”
On what Kaepernick is like as a guy based on their interactions and why he thinks Kaepernick needs to speak publicly:
“He was a good guy. When you sit down and have a conversation with him (in person) it’s much different than some of the stuff you see on TV and honestly, some of the ways Colin kind of carries himself sometimes or at least in the past. The guard is down, there’s not this militancy, which I guess is the best way I’d put that, when he just sits down in the room and talks to you. I wish he would talk more like that with the public and I wish he would talk with the public in general right now because I think a lot of people are wondering where he’s at with this whole thing. I don’t know if he’s being advised to not speak, I’m not sure, but I don’t think it’s helping his case to get back in the league that he’s not communicating with us, the American people, about where things are going, what he has been working on, program wise, project wise and how this conversation/situation and issue is moving forward because I think that would help his genuine chances at the end of the day, not just with the owners, but with everybody. They’re concerned about potentially dividing the fan base, losing fans. They’re concerned about the bottom line issue, it’s not a blackball situation and I understand that. And I think it would go a long way for him if he just spoke to people he didn’t necessarily agree with, people that had a different opinion or perspective on the issue, but also spoke out to the public so we can see where his head’s at because like I said, he’s not a bad guy.”
On what his many conversations with war veterans regarding many NFL players kneeling for the national anthem:
“The general consensus is that Colin Kaepernick should be one of the guys bringing our country together. I think what most of us want as veterans, especially the ones of us that are combat veterans that went overseas and fought for our country is that we are just united again and we just have that sense and feeling that we are sort of laughing again. Right now it’s a lot of anger and discontent and people are flipping out on each other and not laughing at each other and it’s all about the good vs evil, I’m right, you’re wrong and it’s like this fifty-fifty split and that’s what it feels like. There’s no way that 50 percent of our country is wrong or evil, so obviously both sides of these arguments and issues have some validity and we just need to listen and see where those people are coming from because all of our experiences shape us in our different ways and that’s the best way to describe the veteran community. We are the most diverse subculture in the country, in my opinion, but when we work together we don’t always like the people we work with or even agree on anything, but we put the mission first and we listen to one another and it’s all about protecting your fellow American and your brother in arms. We need to take a page out of that book and learn a few lessons from the veteran community.”
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